Independent Study

Independent study is an integral part of the MALS program. All students must complete at least one Independent Study (IS) course while in residence. A second IS may be taken as an elective.

Independent Study

The IS course is expected to be a high-quality, graduate-level experience. It may be:

  • A subject studied independently that is unavailable at Dartmouth or not offered at a convenient time.
  • A continuation of a course already taken, with new and original work.
  • An independently-designed research course.
  • Independent study or research that is considered preliminary to the thesis.

An IS course may help identify a thesis topic, but it is not a substitute for the thesis. Ordinarily, work completed for an IS must be separate from thesis work.

IS courses are supervised by Dartmouth faculty and are to be completed at the end of the regular ten-week term, just like any other course.

Preparing for Your Independent Study

For detailed information about planning your independent study, see the proposal guidelines.